- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wichita couple has admitted to beating and abusing their adopted daughter who authorities say was starved, chained up in a windowless basement and given a bucket to use as a toilet.

The couple pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges including child abuse, aggravated battery and criminal restraint, the Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1GnDjan ) reported. The parents initially denied the abuse allegations.

A child-in-need-of-care petition alleges that the parents chained the girl to a bed in the basement that was rigged with a door alarm and forced her to relieve herself in a bucket. It says they punished her with scalding showers and sometimes fed her only bread for dinner. She was subject to beatings, the petition says. The abuse continued for as long as five years.

The girl, who was 14 at the time, and three other children were taken into protective custody in March 2014.

Authorities say the girl weighed just 66 pounds when she was removed from the home.

The girl, now 15, and the other children remain in foster care pending the outcome of their child-in-need-of-care case.

The Eagle has not named the parents in order to protect the identity of the children. The court gave the newspaper access to child-in-need-of-care petitions early last year on condition it would not identify any of the children involved. The Associated Press generally does not identify juvenile victims of abuse.

The parents face a maximum prison term of five years and eight months if convicted, but they could get probation because neither has a substantial criminal history.

Sedgwick County Assistant District Attorney Angela Wilson told District Judge Patrick Walters she plans to ask the court to impose the heftier sentence.

One of the parents’ attorneys, Michael Cleary, said he thinks the court “will want” to give the parents probation.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

___

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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